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We have blurred the licence plate in this picture to protect the guilty. (Andrew Clark for The Globe and Mail)
We have blurred the licence plate in this picture to protect the guilty. (Andrew Clark for The Globe and Mail)

Road Sage

Why take one parking spot, when two will do? Add to ...

Philosophers postulate that sometimes the most important people in our lives are the ones we never meet. I never believed them until last week and then I knew they were talking about you and me. They had to be. How could someone capable of executing the kind of park you did not be a person of great consequentiality?

I was looking for a space in a crowded lot and having no luck. Then I saw your Bimmer straddling not one but two spots. You'd used the parking line as a target and positioned your car so that the weathered yellow stripe was symbolically cutting it in half. Now you were somewhere in the grocery store buying groceries (just as I dreamed of doing). You'd parked your Silver BMW 325 in two spaces (probably while talking on your phone) and then strode right in. Who knew, you might well have been, at that very moment, running 46 items through the eight-items-or-less cashier.

I waited a while because I was desperate to meet you. Most folks are content with one space. I wanted to see what the sort of person who claimed two looked like. Did you have great hair? Rock-hard abs? Or were you distressingly ugly and getting one back at the world? But you never showed, so I took a photograph of your automobile, something to remember you by. A record of the day we never met.

Were you an important captain of industry in a Brooks Brothers' suit or an important advertising executive in a 30 Rock T-shirt and Sketchers? Perhaps you were an important actor on a hit Canadian TV series that scores 177,000 viewers each week? Were you a down-to-earth Lululemon stay-at-home mom raising the new messiah or were you a hard-working office mom in a rush? Were you a dominatrix doing an out-call that involved humiliating her client by taking his space? Did you actively hate everyone? Was this your way of smacking us around? Or were we not even "on your radar" as they used to say in the 1980s.

Whoever you were you lived a life without fear.

If I parked my car in the middle of two spaces, I'd be afraid of what people would think of me. I'd be afraid that someone might punch me out or that a handsome writer might write a column about me.

Not you. You're the kind of person who cruises blissfully into a crowded parking lot and then takes the last two spaces. Most people look at two parking spaces and think, "I will take one of those." You look at two parking spaces and think, "Those'll do." Did you experience any doubt? Did you think, if only for a split second, "I deserve two spaces." Or was it intuitive, second nature? Either way, that's what I call using "The Secret."

I bet your Cognitive Behavioural Thought Record would look like this:

Hot Thought: I deserve two spaces.

Mood: Serene. Megalomaniacal.

Evidence Supporting Thought: If God didn't want me to park in those two empty spaces he wouldn't have put them there.

Evidence Against Thought: What?

Balanced Thought: I deserve two spaces.

If you parked like this in the deep south, where it's against the law for children not to carry firearms, you might be shot dead. But you're in Canada and the worst thing that's going to happen to you is having your picture taken. For the record, I'm not suggesting that you be shot dead but maybe the next time you park in the middle of two spaces you could twist an ankle getting out of your Bimmer.

Of course, you may have had a very valid excuse. Your BMW owner's manual might say "You can take as many parking spots as you want." Or, after driving around in your German-designed "Dreier," you may be infused with the Teutonic urge to occupy and annex adjacent parking spaces and nation states. Maybe we don't really matter? Maybe this entire universe is just a construct of your imagination and we're only shadows haunting your grand vision? We may never know.

Then again, maybe you're just being typically Canadian. You gravitate naturally toward centre and like to keep a fair bit of space between you and your neighbours. One thing is certain. You like fresh air. I noticed you had your sunroof open. Next time I'll bring my water pistol.


Follow Andrew Clark on Twitter: @aclarkcomedy

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